Hi all. This is Jake Thomases. I’ll be taking you through draft night tonight direct from the Knick war room in Greenburgh. Well, actually from the media room next to the war room. No warring in here. But it’s as close as we’re gonna get.
I know this blog has lost most of its audience in recent months, but if you’re reading this, I encourage you to stick around. I’ll have plenty of updates of tonight’s action, focusing of course on the orange and blue.
The first thing to note is that the Knicks now have two first-round picks. Earlier today, according to ESPN’s Andy Katz, they purchased the No. 29 pick from the Lakers for $3 million.
Donnie Walsh admitted days ago that he had been working the phones trying to acquire another pick in this year’s draft. However, he said, teams weren’t selling. In recent years teams like New Orleans and Phoenix have sold their picks for straight cash, no players. Walsh finally found a partner in Mitch Kupchak.
Keep in mind the Knicks don’t have a second-round pick. Nor do they have a first-rounder next year. It’s going to Utah as part of the Marbury trade, which happened about 20 years ago. Without fresh blood the roster was going to start getting awfully thin. David Lee or Nate Robinson might leave as free agents. And there’s been talk of trading Wilson Chandler to move up in the draft. Without another warm body from the draft Walsh would be reluctant to trade anybody away.
I’ve heard conflicting reports about whether they’d look into another guard or a big man with the 29th pick. If it’s a guard (and assuming they get a guard with the eighth pick) that’s a strong indicator that they’re going to let Nate go. We’ll see.
The Lakers, who also have two second-rounders, sold the pick because they didn’t think he could make their roster. The contracts of first-round picks are guaranteed. They didn’t want to pay someone who wasn’t playing for them.